Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My friend Sean De Coste did the editing and sound.
We will soon make the resolution quality higher.
Knackerson has agreed to get on board-- other collaborations welcome. I literally have 40 or 50 things like this-- short videos made up of hundreds or even thousands of still images-- and just need help getting them all together.
Monday, December 29, 2008
How long can you find yourself?
I can see what's coming.
There were traps on the terraces
And the curls made your hair think
The yellow light and your cold black heart
It was blanco and torro that told me
I can see what's coming.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
said the plugs and cars that line your eyes
From fourth floors that feel like
the three and five zig-zagged escapes
climbing upwards during the fire
¿What does it mean to forget?
¿What does it mean to remember?
Diamonds are made from the light
guarded by trees
that have grown relatively
little in all this time
They should be more majestic.
¿Have you lost your courage?
You seemed like you had always
but now you were different
you were new and nothing else
had changed but movement forward
and you and your potential all
the way lined by steel and your eyes
Saturday, December 27, 2008
pome 812g, in which our hero writes further letters to a lesbian who has recently had her heart broken:
spending Noel in
Lac St. Jean with your
her again I
just wanted you
to know you that you
were welcome for those first
beers back in February or the
breakfast last July it wasn't
a thanks or a way of me
seduce you (necessarily) or a
story about something
you told me over those
too many coffees or too many
drinks it was all over
our heads and bones and
selves with time to
think about time
to think out
many times or with
not enough of it
left until the end i
would have made a
fool of myself for you
then over those
beers if you'd wanted me
to you were
interesting woman in
the bar the most
i knew how
lucky she was and i
didn't believe that she
enough (still don't) but didn't
say so as we
walked home down
Sherbrooke in the
howling wind it was
tired it was full
of us and the
deep Canadien night
you were just
so much of
everything you were
were electric how could I
not want to take off my
coat and my sweater and
shirt and howl
face upwards into the
sleet calling on the
sky to come down and
cheekbones with me and
how could I not
Friday, December 26, 2008
12 geese a swaying
five golden rings
2 mocking birds
8 german hens
10 turtle doves
and a partridge in a pear etc
Oh my, Merry Yuletide boys and girls.
please excuse the crudity of then way in which I disseminate:
This holiday season leaves me more joyously confused than ever. As per usual this time of year brings with it a tremendous wave of glorious nonsense to my ever unsatiated fragile spongelike eggshell mind. Increasingly visions of apocalyptic sugerplums permeate my waking and dreaming spheres of awareness. Indeed the galactic superconsious is a strange place filled with all kinds of contrasting fallacies and facts. What nefarious chemical, what prestine austerity can unlock the key to that heavenly gate which leades past the holy veil into the temple of sanctum truth. And have I been as good enough a tiger- boy for santa to leave it in my stocking.
I stubbornly cling to the mask of conduit-jester. Continually emphasising that my words and my voice arent mine. Yet I state no pompous claim to be a messenger of things greater than me. Im just trying to output the ridiculous array of conflicting inputs which I have willingly-unwillingly absorbd.
So anyways, I dont know if youve heard, but word on the street is, that there s a hidden planet called Nibaru which is headed our way. Apparently the ancients who were the most exxcellent of astronmers all put down in their books about this planet Nibiru that all these cool space alien dudes live on. According to them, Nibiru is a planet that has an abnormal orbit in our solar system that only brings it within our proximity once every long time like thousands of years. But guess what. Its coming back! And guess when! 2012!
Thats right folks! 2012!
Cooincidentally thats the same year that our planet and the other planets and the sun all line up with the black hole in the centre of our galaxy. Also it marks the end of the mayan calender etc etc etc.
But thats all heresay.
In other news, I went to the AGO in toronto with my dad today and we saw some pretty great art. Whoa, there was art all over the place in there. Good arts, bad arts, post-arts, modern-arts, all kinds of fantastic arts. I was uber-impressed. But mostly the arts that I liked best were the ab-original arts. In fact there was one display of only arrow heads and primitive tools. they were layed out in a timeline so that you could see how the evolution of the arrow heads had evolved over time. Hmmm, but what a surprise! There wasnt much evolution there to see. In fact, it seems as if the arrow head design remained basically the same for about 5000 years. That seemed funny to me. Then we watched a video about some inuit killing seal. Neat. I wonder if me and my buds could do that. If we could build that boat and sale it into those arctic waters away from our igloos and sew those jackets and make that bow and arrow and cut up that meat and eat it like that. Probably not. I doubt if i could make a fire without a lighter and some newspaper. Oh well.
Anyways, it struck me how things overall seem to be accelerating in an absolutely devine, unfathamable way.
Then I walked down queen street and did some boxing day purchasing. YES! BARGAINS! LOOK AT ALL MY BEUAtifuL NEW ITEmS!!!
In the gospel of Thomas, Christ proclaims the necessity of acheiving direct knowledge-gnosis- of the Devine. he declares If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
Heres something I read:
-from a shamanic perspective, the psychic blockade that prevents otherwise intelligent adults from considering the future of our worlds-our obvious lack of future, if we continue on our present path-reveals an occult dimension. It is like a programming error written into the software designed for the modern mind, which has endless energy to spend on the trivial and treacle, sports statistic or shoe sale, but has no time to spare for the torments of the third world, for the mass extinction of species to perpetuate a way of life without a future, for the immenent exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves, or for the fine print in the patriot act. This psychic blockade is reinforced by a vast propoganda machine spewing out crude as well as sophisticated distractions, encouraging individuals to see themselves as alienated spectators of their culture, rather than active participants in a planetary ecology.-
Anyways, I think its just about time that we start building label2. And Label2 should be somewhere well away from the major centres and be well equipped with the latest solar panels, wind generaters and hydroponic growing equipment. not to mention cigarettes for jose and dave.
And Im very slowly starting to get damned serious about this in my own way.
Your humble Captain of the Black and Gold Stars,
nij (smktgr) bfa (blackbelt 1st dan hapkido)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I hesitated to post this, since i know i post so much random 'net stuff, but...
The fame that Tom Cochrane achieved with "Life is a Highway" in 1991 was rather unfortunate, since that's probably among his worst songs, imo.
It made people forget that Cochrane, who was born and grew up in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, was/is actually a fairly decent singer/songwriter/musician who put out some pretty good music in the 80's-- at a time when Canadian pop was all Corey Hart, Mitsou, and Glass Tiger (who also have their place, I guess).
Anyway, this here is two fabulous songs (they're really part 1 and 2 of the same song) and a cheesy-but-cool video. It's "Light in the Tunnel/Race of Life"-- from his album Neruda, made all the way back in 1983.
The album title, of course, refers to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I don't know much about him, except that Gabriel Garcia Marquez called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century, in any language".
If you're impatient, and don't want to sit through the intro, the "real" song starts at 01:40, but spending 4 minutes listening to or watching the whole thing while you clean or play chess won't be a waste of your time, trust me.
And the simple guitar part he uses from 01:35 on is really nice-- a good example of the "less is more" school.
I had forgotten all about this song until my friend Sean, who was born the year it came out, re-introduced me to it. We work together in the kitchen at the gay bar. But we're not, like, gay or nuthin'.
Merry Xmas and Joyeux Noel to one and all of you, my fellow bloggers and good people.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
mind in a
different time you were
there still it was
cheerful painted walls in
far-away cities it was
like a fever-dream and the
skeletons in the
closet were alive
thought if we
went out for
tea we could
no, okay, maybe not,
but anyway it was almost winter,
the music was making you
high the soft
beat of it all the
spot on the sidewalk where my
beer bottles fell out and smashed and
mixed there with my
blood in the
rain it was
all so quite
and we were so
beautiful then and we
lose sight of things it
it all was open
ended and had no
moment knew us and gave us
everything and we
pulp from it and we
rode a bike
straight down the hill
fontaine and the world
laughed and the
rainclouds at night-time
i envy others their
children and the
fears they might
no longer have
as those who
now live for something
i know what everyone means when
they say they
wish they could
live a thousand lifetimes since
one is nowhere near enough to
cram in all the endless beauties and
possibilities and i
think the next time i
dad i'm going to
ask him whether
he would agree that
particle theory insists on the
separateness of things whereas
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sir John Tavener, the composer, is British, and a member of the Greek Orthodox Chruch. He writes choral music that's very religious in nature (this is from a Mass), and a blend of east and west.
I've been mildly obsessed with this song for several years.
WARNING: They stand perfectly still, with no sound, until 0:19.
Friday, December 12, 2008
This is a chart of Canadian gas prices (national average, Winnipeg's average price has never strayed very far from the average for very long). I had to go back 4 years to find prices as low as they are today... and even going back 6 years, the farthest available at the site I got this from, there is nothing like the drop in prices that we've seen over the past couple of weeks...
P.S. Sorry there is very little art content in this post!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
So maybe it's because I'm listening to sad music and it's raining while I write this. Or, maybe it's because someone I've always admired at a distance, through some of my closest friends, passed away this week at 27 years old, after a long struggle with lukemia.
But whatever the reasons, this week I'm wondering about whether art really has any meaning at all.
It's a rhetorical question, of course, because if art had no meaning, we humans wouldn't have been making it since the beginning of time.
No--we make art, and think about it, and hang it on walls, because it moves us somehow. It teaches us something, makes us feel like things will be okay, or like things are every bit as awful (and beautiful) as they really seem to be.
So all of these thoughts were with me in different ways when I biked over to the Winnipeg Art Gallery this week, to look at a show of works from their vast historical collection.
The oldest paintings, European works from six hundred years ago, are almost entirely paintings from Christian history--works showing Jesus and the saints.
Behind that, though, as the keen observer will realize, artists of every age manage to convey pathos, anger, debauchery, sexiness, and deep spiritual doubt into works that, on the surface at least, were only about religion.
In works by 15th century Dutch artist Cranach the Elder, or an unknown German artist's painting The Martyrdom of St. Catherine, tiny details hint at larger narratives. The positioning of a hand, the direction of the eye, or a recognized art symbol like a flower, or a peach, helps tell a story that's about more than just Jesus and the saints.
Move forward four hundred years in time, to when the Impressionists cast a long shadow over art.
Almost every work in the exhibit from this era bears their stamp to some degree, from Dorothea Sharpe's 1902 work In the Orchard, celebrating the nobility of daily labour, or Bernard de Hoog's charming, romantic scene The Proposal.
Again, as with the earlier religious paintings, these artists work within what at first seem to be narrow borders, but still manage to depict the whole range of human emotions.
Shortly after this time, in the 1920's, a Winnipeg artist named L.L. Fitzgerald spent some time in New York City, and was influenced by the Post-Impressionist art of the day.
Back home in Winnipeg, shortly before joining the legendary Group of Seven, Fitzgerald created Potato Patch, Snowflake, a painted scene from his grandparents' farm in southwestern Manitoba.
Like others, Fitzgerald shows the nobility of daily work, but with a whole scheme of colours, ideas and designs that artists before his time would never have thought of.
He, too, though, was a product of his time--better than many artists, perhaps, but still influenced by trends, ideas, and demands of his day.
And just like artists since the beginning of time, he was using the art forms of his day to work through these same ideas that we've all wrestled with.
For Fitzgerald, it meant that he stopped painting these types of landscapes not long after this work was created. Instead, he embarked on a two-decade experiment with abstract art, trying to find the divine through nature and paint, trying to answer these same questions.
He once said: "The idea is not to simply reproduce things (in paintings), but to start with their centre, their spiritual core, and to build the image outward from there."
Where the spiritual core of paintings might be, or the spiritual core of life, for that matter, can sometimes be a bit of mystery. And yet my late friend understood it better than most: "I' m begging you--think about your funeral every day," he once said in an email. "In some ways, it's all that really matters."
His funeral, however he may have imagined it, is tonight.
And so that, of course, has something to do with all of these musings about centuries of art, and why they might possibly matter. But that's me--you might see this show completely differently, depending on where you're at right now.
So maybe that's why art always has and always will matter to us--it speaks to us across these perceived differences of time and culture, tells the same basic stories, asks the same basic questions.
Good art (and bad art, too) provides us with some kind of record, something that says we were here once, and that we lived and tried to understand some things about the workings of the world. And for reasons that we still don't really get, all of that seems to matter a great deal.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
and you are not they
however close however far
and the words that poison
and the touch that stabs
and what they are after
does not really matter
if you do not aspire to be
and just are
you already are
even if you can't see it
so you just have to do
and it will be
Friday, December 05, 2008
it's not that i'm following you, or that i'm nothing but an old hippie.
no, no, no. not at all.
well, ok, a little, and both.
krikey! a new poem? a bit? the both?
my back (untranslatable-- the name of a popular drag bar) is better. and you? you're the best.
but what's "kiff"? i saw that in a text message in a film called "paris" with juliette binoche.
but the rest of it--life, saloon, and all the other stuff--it's (or they are) too serious.
sincerely, your good friend,
etc etc etc.
stuff and other things to know, part 2 (chapter 86): A letter from St. Concordie to Ste. Amilie-du-Abitibi
c'est pas que je te suivre, ou que je suis rien qu'un vieux hippie.
non non non. pas de tout.
well, ok, en peu, les duex.
criss! une nouvelle poeme? en peu? les duex?
mon dos (ma-do?) est mieux. et toi? t'es la meilleur.
mais c'est quoi "kiff"? j'ai vu ça dans les textos, dans un film qui s'apelle "paris" avec juliette binoche.
et la reste--la vie, et saloon, et tous les autre choses--c'est (ou ils sont) trop grave.
sincerement, ton vrai ami,
Thursday, December 04, 2008
the cloves on your tongue
asleep you dream
the books are ignited
asleep you dream
the ideas are fading
asleep you stir
the sheep are bleating
he is on the floor
quietly, the men come
the door of no use
you knew he would
leave out the window.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
In this thirty second clip, the main character, Vinz, has just woken up on the fateful morning, beginning the 24 hours that encompass the story.
As you maybe can tell, he's imitating the famous "you tawkin' to me?" scene from Taxi Driver.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sociolinguists do it with variety.
Phonologists do it with deviation.
Professors do it for tenure.
Psycholinguists do it with reliable effects.
Theorists do it in armchairs.
Field linguists do it with the whole village.
Cognitivists do it with mental imagery.
Acquisitionists do it with families.
L2 acquisitionists do it in classrooms.
Computationalists do it with corpora.
Generativists do it with bindings. (Recursively!)
Typologists do it with everyone.
Comparativists do it the longest.
Creolists do it in colonies.
Grad students do it for the experience.
Phoneticians do it in booths.
Comparativists do it over millennia.
Syntacticians do it with trees.
Semanticians do it with meaning.
Morphologists do it in pieces.
Neurolinguists do it with magnets.
Documentationists do it for the record.
OTists do it with strict domination.
Evolutionists do it with primates.
Archivists make it last forever.
Experimentalists do it repeatedly.
Speech pathologists do it oddly.
Revitalizationists do it with elders.
Linguistic anthropologists do it in context.
Austronesianists do it over half the world.
Polynesianists do it in outriggers.
Grant reviewers only read about it.
the pieces have become entangled
and impossible to be delivered whole
lesser ones than  must continue
make the journey and find their
gratitude would be incomplete
if expressed without regret
so let it not go unsaid
that this should not have been
plain and plaintive
this voice rests on a melody
across the dissonance
that distances us
this is not just a haiku
- a revelation!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
WARNING: Don't watch if you plan to ever see the movie.
The narration at the beginning and end is this: "There's a story about a guy who fell from the 50th floor of a building, and on the way down, he re-assured himself at each floor by saying, over and over: So far, everything's fine. So far, everything's fine. So far, everything's fine. But it's not that fall that matters--it's how you land."
At the end, he repeats the same narration, except he says: "There was a society that was falling..."
in this episode, sinister things are happening:
what does k-man mean in striking these various poses--first as a nerd in glasses, fused with a bicycle; then as a voyeur or victim, shower style, a la "Psycho"; and thirdly (not pictured) as a curious and good-natured cat, trapped in her room by terrorists?
we see madame sanchez wearing a moustache and appearing in the character of emilio esteban-- why does he/she stand in the shower, hiding behind the curtain?
loco, you will note, appears here as a shag-haired hippie.
and where is L-Blizzard, our man in Montreal?
only a series of cryptic messages give hints that he may have even been here at all.
odd poems, configurations, statements.
(and all of this, of course, was before the famous incident in which Loco rescued him from the laundry room floor, paralyzed and sweating with back spasms, and poured him a hot bath.)
but what about the rest of this, all these other things?
robinets? faucets? extermination? gilles? vendredi?
a sculpture is a sculpture? marmalade is marmalade? but a sculpture of marmalade is a sculpture but it is not marmalade?
what does any of this mean? all of it seems so random, so savage and unconnected. what's holding this together?
further study is needed. please stand by.